Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?
The man responsible for operationalising customer advocacy as a company-wide initiative at Telstra is retiring.
The telco’s group executive of business support and improvement, Robert Nason, helped to establishing a multi-year, multi-billion dollar productivity program over the past five years, which led to the introduction of the Net Promoter System (NPS) across the organisation.
In an ASX statement announcing his retirement, Telstra’s outgoing CEO, David Thodey, said Nason had been a critical player in the telco’s shift in customer, market and employee perceptions and would be missed.
“Robert has taken on many of our large, complex, difficult opportunities during the past five years and made them into strategic opportunities for Telstra and tangible benefits for our customers and shareholders,” Thodey said in the statement. “He has been in tireless pursuit of waste, inefficiency and frustration to make it easier for us to do business and easier for people to do business with us.”
A milestone of Nason’s tenure has been rolling out NPS in July 2012. Thodey said this was now embedded in Telstra’s operational model and a critical component of its customer engagement strategy.
Nason joined Telstra in 2010 from Tabcorp, where he was managing director. He was formerly the chief executive of Racing Victoria and also spent two decades in the telecommunications industry, holding senior leadership positions with Electronic Data Systems Corporate and AT Kearney in the US. His resume also includes stints with Coopers and Lybrand and KPMG.
Nason said he felt it was time to look for new non-executive role opportunities.
“While the task can never be regarded as completed, Telstra has made strong progress on the productivity and services agenda,” Nason said in the ASX statement. “It has a deeply entrenched focus on improving the experience for our customers and a strong team capable of taking it forward.”
News of Nason’s departure comes just a couple of months after Thodey announced he would be stepping down as CEO at Telstra after a six-year run. Thodey himself is widely credited with spearheading the telco’s customer transformation turnaround and for its current strong market position.
Nelson will remain with the telco until October, and provide transition support as well as continue his responsibilities at Foxtel. A replacement has not yet been confirmed but expected to be determined in the near future.
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